Breed: Domestic Short Hair
Sex: Female – Speyed
Age: 2y 6m
Current Weight: 3.8kgs
History: Prinny is a lovely cat with a gentle temperament. Prinny first presented to Wilston Vet when she was 1y 6m age as her owners had noticed that she was starting to develop a severe generalised dermatitis. It was the end of Spring and Prinny had just recently started to lick and scratch at her fur and some fleas and flea dirt were also noted. (Fleas are a common problem all year around, however often are most prevalent in the Spring and Summer months.) Some animals can develop a condition called ‘flea allergy dermatitis’ which can cause a generalised itch and discomfort even from the bite of one single flea. Flea prevention had been applied to Prinny prior to her visit, however she had continued to lick and scratch at her fur.
Examination: On examination Dr Kate noted that Prinny had some fleas and flea dirt (flea faeces) present in her coat. Prinny also had patchy areas of hair loss, broken skin and irritation from her constant licking and scratching. Dr Kate took samples of Prinny’s skin to examine under the microscope to identify if any bacteria or yeast infection were present. Apart from her skin condition, Prinny was found to be in good health.
Treatment: As Prinny’s symptoms started in Spring and fleas were noted, it was suspected that she may have a flea allergy or an environmental allergy. Highly effective flea prevention was applied to Prinny and to her environment. Prinny was given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication to help resolve her infected skin lesions and control her intense itch.
Prinny initially responded well to the treatment, however once the medication was completed, her symptoms returned and spread to other parts of her body. This time, Dr Kate found no fleas on Prinny. She was flea-free. It was then suspected that Prinny was suffering from Feline Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex. This is an auto-immune condition in cats which causes severe dermatitis and ulcerative lesions, and is often caused by a trigger such as a flea allergy, or a plant, pollen, grass or food allergy. Essentially Prinny’s own immune system was attacking her skin.
Dr Kate performed comprehensive blood tests on Prinny to confirm the diagnosis as well as assess her general health. This blood test indicated a very high eosinophil count. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell which are elevated in the presence of an allergy or auto-immune condition. The skin lesions on Prinny’s body and the presence of the high eosinophil count confirmed that Prinny had the Feline Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex. The best treatment option for Prinny was a new oral medication called Atopica (Cyclosporin). This medication is prescribed to cats with severe allergic dermatitis and cats suffering from Feline Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex and works by suppressing the over-active immune system.
Prinny was started on the oral syrup every day and she was reassessed every 14 days to check her response to the treatment and to ensure she was not suffering any severe side effects from the medication.
Outcome: Prinny had a fantastic response to the Atopica. An improvement was noted within the first 14 days of treatment and she continued to receive the medication until her symptoms completely resolved, 10 weeks in total. Prinny is now back to her relaxed happy self and her coat has returned to normal.